The Observer stayed up all night watching the NYPD’s raid on Zuccotti Park and witnessed several instances of credentialed reporters being barred from getting within viewing distance of the scene as the protesters were evicted. According to Mayor Bloomberg, police kept reporters from getting close to the park to keep them safe.
During the more than six hours we spent at the raid last night, The Observer was unable to get closer than two blocks away from the protest. We assumed this was due to our lack of an official NYPD press badge, however, we also saw credentialed reporters from CNBC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, The New York Times, Reuters and a Japanese TV station get blocked at the barricades.
At his press conference this morning, The Observer asked Mayor Bloomberg why reporters were prevented from seeing the raid, and he denied there was a media blackout.
“The Police Department routinely keeps members of the press off to the side when they are in the middle of a police action. It’s to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect the members of the press,” Mayor Bloomberg said, adding, “We have to provide protection and we’ve done exactly that.”